Want to upgrade from Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Home to Pro editions or buy an upgrade pack to add Windows Media Center to the operating system? You’d better act fast: Microsoft will be discontinuing Media pack and Pro Pack sales on October 30th, 2015.

windows media center

Right now you can upgrade from Windows 8.1 Home to Windows 8.1 Pro by paying $100 for a Pro Pack or existing Pro users can add Windows Media Center for $10.

After October 30th you may still be able to do that buy purchasing a feature pack from a third-party retailer. But Microsoft will no longer be selling upgrade packs.

Windows 8.1 Pro has all the features of the Home edition, but also includes extra features including BitLocker encryption, Remote Desktop, and support for joining corporate domains.

Windows Media Center is a utility for browsing and playing music, videos, and photos in a full-screen environment, recording and pausing live TV, and generally turning your PC into a home theater PC.

Microsoft introduced Windows Media Center with a special edition of Windows XP and bundled the software with Windows Vista and Windows 7. When the company launched Windows 8, it didn’t have Media Center. But Microsoft allowed users to add the software for $10.

It’s not included at all in Windows 10 and there’s no way official way to add it (although there is an unofficial method).

Microsoft will continue to support users that have purchased the Pro Pack and Media Pack, but now that the company is discontinuing sales, it might be a good time to check out some alternatives to Windows Media Center.

via myce

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5 replies on “Microsoft discontinues Windows 8 Pro Pack, Media Pack sales Oct 30th”

  1. People have already found they they cannot purchase the Media Center Pack (for those who already have Windows Pro) through the Add features mechanism. Problems started to be reported as early as September. At the beginning of October I spent 1 hour 25 mins with MS support who eventually confirmed that Media Center is no longer being offered, despite the Windows website saying otherwise. The following is from my chat session with 2nd line support.

    > here’s what I found out
    > it appears Windows Media Center is no longer being offered
    > as all as upgrading to Windows 10 Media Center pack is phased out
    > we cannot proceed in getting this product
    > these are resource materials , since the release of Windows 10 July 31st Windows Media Center including product key are no longer being offered, I have checked our system tools to see if we can get a key but unfortunately there’s no option now

    The only way for Windows Pro users to obtain a Media Center key is to buy a secondhand one.

  2. I can recommend the unofficial installation of wmc. It’s working great here with DVBLink and Emby installed.

  3. Wow, three days notice! Not that it matters though. Earlier this year Microsoft changed the data provider for WMC programming, and it’s made looking for an alternative necessary. WMC is no longer as good as it used to be. On the other hand, Windows 8.1 is probably better suited for HTPC use, so it might be worth upgrading from 7 to get a couple more years of official support.

  4. “When the company launched Windows 8, it didn’t have Media Center. But Microsoft allowed users to add the software for $10.”
    It cost $10 to add it to Windows 8 PRO. P-R-O. Pro-fess-ion-al. For the other 99% of users, it meant buying the Pro Pack, and that was $100 to get back one feature and get stuck with a whole raft of admin features that WMC users have no interest in.
    I’ve already picked up a few cheap Windows 7 licenses for a rainy CableCARD tuner day.

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